How to Remove Chromatic Aberrations using Photoshop

For the past year I’ve struggled with, what I’ve come to learn is Chromatic Aberrations in my Composite Photography, which is the colored fringing you see around the edges of subjects within a photo.

That is, until I discovered How to Remove Chromatic Aberrations using this really effective and quick Photoshop trick.

I can’t tell you how frustrating it is to produce an awesome Composited Portrait, have it printed as a 50” or 60” piece of art, then discover it has colors around the edges of some of the elements.

“What the HELL is that?”, I found myself asking more than once.

What you see 50″ is much different than what you see on a computer.

That’s why I’m super stoked to share this Photoshop Tutorial with you today.

A Little about Chromatic Aberrations

I think the best place to start with fixing these pesky color fringes is to better understand what they are, and why you see them.

Here’s a sample of a Photillustration I did that has Chromatic Aberrations.

sample of chromatic aberration by composite photographer, jason ulsrud

Chromatic Aberrations, as defined by Wikipedia, is an effect resulting from dispersion in which there is a failure of a lens to focus all colors to the same convergence point.

Clear as mud, right?

In other words, because light travels at different wavelengths, as it passes through the optics of your lens, it is dispersed through the other side at a slightly different angle, which results in the various colors hitting your camera sensor at a slightly different area.

light dispersion for chromatic aberration

If you’re like me, and don’t know exactly what “Dispersion” is, let me explain.

For us Photographers, “Dispersion” is the change in angle when the different colors of light pass through our lens’.

In a perfect world, with perfect lens’, the “Dispersion” for all colors of light would be equal and the same, creating NO Chromatic Aberration.

However, we don’t live in a perfect world, or at least I don’t, so we have to figure out ways to remove the Aberrations caused by the unequal “Dispersion” of light waves as they pass through our lens.

Aren’t you happy you know all this now?

!!! Important Tip !!!

As you should well know by now, there are many ways in Photoshop to accomplish a desired outcome.

For me and my style of Composite Photography, this method of removing Chromatic Aberrations works really well.

That said, there are times when desaturating specific Aberrations colors results in an overall undesirable desaturation, which then requires the additional step of adding a layer mask and painting in or out what you choose.

The best way to master removing the Color Fringing from your Photography, is to try this technique and others, pick one you like, then do it until you become a bad ass Chromatic Aberration remover.

That’s a Wrap

I’m on a Quest to create Amazing Portraits that remind people how great they are, and how awesome life is.

Composite Photography gives you the ability to tell stories, highlight personalities, and enhance people’s lives.

I love every aspect of Composite Photography, and would love to see more Photographers using Compositing for Portraits.

That’s why I do what I do…

How are you using Composite Photography to enhance the lives of others? Leave a comment below and share.

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